There’s no question Dolly Parton will be known for years to come, but the singer’s not taking any chances. Instead, she’s recording new music to be released after her death.
In a recent interview with Jad Abumrad for the final episode of WNYC’s podcast Dolly Parton’s America, the famed country star talked about prepping for the end of life, as well as what comes after.
“I’ve got hundreds, hundreds, even thousands of songs — a big part of them have never even been recorded,” Parton stated. “There’s enough stuff to go on forever with my music, to do compilation albums, to do new and original stuff.”
Parton continued on, explaining she’d like these recordings to be so close to completion that future producers and songwriters would be able to use her vocal tracks for posthumous collaborations, so that “when I’m gone, they could take my songs just the click track and my vocal and build a complete arrangement around that, any style. That will go on forever,” she said.
The idea might initially sound slightly morbid, but for Parton it’s just good planning. “I’m one of those people that believe in being prepared,” the 73-year-old music icon remarked. “I don’t want to ever leave my stuff in the same shape like Prince or Aretha or anybody that don’t plan ahead,” added Parton, referencing the various legal issues that arose following the deaths of the two aforementioned legends.
Fans can expect Parton’s legacy to live on beyond those thousands of songs; as we learned last month, there’s talk of putting up her statue in the Tennessee capitol to replace Confederate soldier Nathan Bedford Forrest.
In addition to prepping for the afterlife, the nine-time Grammy winner is hard at work on more current releases, such as her recent Netflix special, Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings.
Listen to the full final episode of Dolly Parton’s America below.